Navy Offers Alternative Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water Compensation
Some veterans and family members affected by the Camp Lejeune contaminated water scandal have an alternative way to collect the compensation they are due from the federal government for exposure to contaminated water at the North Carolina Marine Corps base.
The passage of the PACT Act created opportunities for veterans and family members to submit new claims for toxic water exposure at Camp Lejeune. It also allowed veterans to resubmit Camp Lejeune claims that had been denied previously.
But that’s not all.
Camp Lejeune Justice Act
A provision in the PACT Act called the Camp Lejeune Justice Act offers sailors and Marines and their families the opportunity to file an “administrative claim” against the United States Navy.
The Act also makes provisions for these claimants to sue the federal government for damages if their claim is denied or the Navy takes longer than six months to respond.
In the early days of September 2023, the United States Navy announced an enhancement to these options. A new “elective option” allows those with Camp Lejuene contaminated water claims to apply for a lump sum payment up to $550 thousand depending on the nature of the claimant’s diagnoses and other variables.
This is offered to those who want speedy resolution to their claims and is described as a way to get “closure” on the issue.
What’s the Catch?
To qualify for approval, claimants must be able to prove specific medical issues related to contaminated water at Camp Lejeune and be able to prove exposure for a specific period of time. But that’s not the “catch.”
To submit a successful claim, Navy guidance says the medical issue “must have been first diagnosed or treated before August 10, 2022.” The option to submit an administrative claim or elect to file the “elective option” claim has a time limit. These claims will be accepted until the official August 10, 2024 deadline. No new claims are possible after that date according to policy current at press time.
How the Process Works
Once a claim has been submitted and approved, the federal government will contact the claimant with a settlement offer. The claimant has two months (60 total days) to accept or deny the offer. Those who deny the government’s offer may pursue a lawsuit against the Navy instead.
Learn more on how to submit a Camp Lejeune water claim or submit a claim under the elective option at the U.S. Navy official site.
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About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.